Quality Spiritual Facilities
6 September to 15 October 2000
'Quality Spiritual Facilities' is the by-line chosen by Polish artist Lukasz Skapski to describe a range of sculptural objects, or rather devices, specially crafted to aid, alter or enhance our perception of the world. They take the form of bizarre looking eye wear, elegant tripod mounted sky watching equipment, and rather cumbersome and awkward contraptions to be worn on, or about the head. These objects are displayed with instructions for use. In the deadpan language of the manual we are informed of their range of functions from producing a heightened sense of reality, to pure enlightenment. The artist also photographs the sky in daytime, at night, with and without clouds. These starkly beautiful images are resolutely two dimensional and are regarded by the artist to have their roots in minimalist painting.
What connects these two seemingly diverse practices is Skapski's fascination with light, but more specifically its source, the sun. As Skapski reminds us, "Life on earth is due to solar energy", and so it follows for him that our perception of light is something which we experience physically, but also necessarily, spiritually. But the artist is also keenly aware of the potential irony of interpreting ourselves as spiritual beings in what is essentially a commodified 21st century, and his slogan is testament to that fact. Skapski is therefore both shaman and salesman - the fallibility of the human condition finds salvation through consumerism, in this case our engagement with his work.
This exhibition was selected from the multi-venue presentation of Skapski's work initiated by Stour Valley Arts.
This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, Light Works, with essays by Rebecca Drew, Jaroslaw Suchan and Ingrid Swenson. Click here to buy a copy.